Accompanied only by his piano, Grammy award-winning recording artist and philanthropist John Legend performs the soulful "Wake Up" and "Shine" from his album, Wake Up!, including a song that appears on the soundtrack to the documentary Waiting for Superman. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Culture, PopTech 2010
According to Steve Barr, the fastest way to fix education in America would be to make private schools illegal. As the founder of Green Dot Public Schools, Barr is devoted to improving public education in blighted cities. His efforts have transformed high schools across Los Angeles into charter schools that send nearly 80% of students to college. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Education, PopTech 2009, Urbanization, Governance, Youth
Jessica Lawrence talks about what she has learned about leadership from early teenage miscues through her tenure with the Girl Scouts of the USA and on to running NY Tech Meetup, the world's largest meetup with over 40,000 members. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, Learning, PopTech 2014, Society, Technology
MIT professor Dan Ariely believes that the starting point for making better decisions, particularly with financial matters, requires understanding the impulse to act irrationally. At PopTech 2009, Ariely discussed an excerpt from his new book, The Upside of Irrationality, about the role of emotions in the workplace. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Economics, Science, Psychology, Behavioral Economics, PopTech 2009,...
Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer discusses the surprising power of being present during everyday activities. "We have many, many studies that suggest that the limits we assume are real are artificial, and that we don't have to accept them at all." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, mind, PopTech 2013, psychology
NPR’s Joe Palca sits down with chemist and inventor Bryan Shaw, and biomedical engineer Maria Oden to discuss their work and what drives them to design life-saving devices for our most vulnerable populations. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Innovation, PopTech 2014, Technology
You're doing it wrong. Hacker Josh Klein complicates commonly held notions about rebellion and its connotations of progress. If hacking can be defined as efficiently challenging the status quo, then how can we apply the idea of the "elegant hack" to rebellion writ large? Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Innovation, PopTech 2014, Technology
For more than thirty years, Dr Dean Ornish has demonstrated the power of a healthy lifestyle as the best kind of preventive care. These choices, Ornish reveals, are can turn on" disease-preventing genes and "turn off" genes that promote illness. Dr. Ornish has published a number of best-selling books on the subject; the most recent is The Spectrum. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Health, Medicine, Food, Science, PopTech 2009
Reihan Salam, a New America Foundation fellow, writes on politics, culture, and technology. At PopTech 2009, Salam argues that America's growing diversity, divided by massive inequalities, will lead the country to increasing social conservatism. Salam also co-authored Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Politics, Economics, Culture, PopTech 2009
Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, shows how he is hooking a new generation of kids on computer programming. "I remember sitting down with my wife for dinner...and we had this sudden, appalling realization that we had promised 600,000 people that we would build them a $25 dollar computer." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, DIY, Emerging technology, PopTech iceland 2012, Robotics,...
Animation pioneer and filmmaker Bob Sabiston tells a story about turning down Steve Jobs three times over the course of two decades as he moved from self-described arrogant young programmer to Austin "slacker" to accomplished filmmaker to bourgeoning app developer, all while maintaining a fierce independence and sense of vision. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Engineering, Entertainment, Innovation, PopTech 2014, Stories
Imogen Heap plays a stripped-down version of what she says is her most popular song, "Hide and Seek." It came together by accident one night when her computer died and she was forced to look at her instruments in a new way. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Art, Environment, PopTech 2010
Artist and choreographer Tony Orrico impressed us with a performance of his work at PopTech's closing night party this year. In this video, he creates a smaller scale version of his durational Penwald Drawings, in which he uses his body to inscribe geometric shapes on paper, recording his motion meticulously and with grace. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, PopTech 2011, Art, shorts, Play, PopTech 2011 shorts
Erik Hersman asks us to shed outdated notions of Africa as a unified place plagued by starvation and war. Between mobile phone innovations like M-PESA, social networking like MXit and entrepreneurial spaces like Maker Faire Africa, Hersman sees innovation and entrepreneurship exploding within some of Africa's--and the world's--fastest growing economies. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech 2011, Economics, Culture, Development, Africa, DIY
Kathryn Schulz is an expert on being wrong. The journalist and author of "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margins of Error," says we make mistakes all the time. The trouble is that often times being wrong feels like being right. What's more, we're usually wrong about what it even means to make mistakes--and how it can lead to better ideas. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Culture, Business, Psychology, PopTech 2010
What happens when ambitious and talented data scientists are connected with social organizations rife with data but lacking resources to do anything with it? Jake Porway's DataKind (formerly Data Without Borders) helps bring these two groups together, using data in the service of humanity to design transformative visualizations and decision-making tools. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, PopTech 2011, Data, Social Innovation Fellows 2011, Mapping, DIY, Social...
ThinkUp co-founder and tech blogger Anil Dash questions what happens to our civic discourse when our online conversations occur under the terms of service of a small group of privately-owned tech companies whose sense of civic-mindedness is questionable at best? Are we part of the problem by not being part of the solution? Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Internet, Law, Mobile, Politics, PopTech 2014, Privacy
2010 Science and Public Leadership Fellow Justin Gallivan is amazed by bacteria. You can get them to do almost anything. For instance, e. coli bacteria can be programmed to eat atrazine, a widely used herbicide that contaminates ground water. The key? Being able to program them to solve pressing eco-challenges. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Fellows, Science Fellows 2010, Environment, PopTech 2010, Water, Ecology
Designer Kacie Kinzer explores what technology can reveal about empathy and cooperation. So she built a Tweenbot, a cardboard robot equipped only with "cuteness and a flag that says 'help me'" to elicit help from passersby. With the help of 29 strangers, the tiny robot crossed NYC's Washington Square Park in just 42 minutes. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Design, Robotics, Funny, Urbanization, Culture, PopTech 2009,...
hunter lee soik lays out his plan for building the world's largest dream database through the development of a smart phone application designed to help capture the specific content of our dreams. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Crowdsourcing, Emerging tech, Mind, Mobile, PopTech 2014
Renowned scholar and critic Sarah Lewis contemplates the power of wonder and the importance of the arts not just as a luxury but also as a dynamic force behind some of the most impactful changes in human history. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Art, Creativity, Culture, Literature, PopTech 2014
Founder of Reverb Technologies, Erin McKean catches the PopTech audience up on the evolution of her unique online dictionary, Wordnik, since she first introduced it at PopTech 2008. She unveils the next phase of the Wordnik mission in this lively talk. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Data, Education, Internet, Language, PopTech 2014
Buddhist Geeks’ co-founder Vincent Horn describes a personal journey that took him from contemplative neophyte undergrad to mind-hacking technophile who brings together Silicon Valley and Buddhist tradition in a unique attempt to reduce the world's suffering. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Brain, Community, Faith, Mind, PopTech 2014
Robert Neuwirth tells us about life in the informal economy, what French culture classifies as System D. 1.8 billion people on the planet subsist through economic transactions that happen outside legal spheres and, by 2020, two thirds of our planet will be doing business in this domain. The future is the free market vs. the flea market. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech 2011, Culture, Economics, Governance, Geography, Nationalism,...
Arvind Subramanian explains that China's ascendance is not approaching but already upon us. The country's growing dominance will be more imminent, broader in scope and greater than previously imagined. He asks us to imagine a world with, not the G20, nor even the G2, but the sole G1: the reality is that China will rule the world. What does this mean for an increasingly vulnerable United States? Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech 2011, Economics, Culture, Politics, Geography, Governance,...
In a process called bioremediation, Shaily Mahendra uses bacteria and fungi to indicate levels of pollution and ecosystem health. These same microorganisms can also be used to detoxify a wide variety of environmental pollutants, restoring a contaminated environment back to its healthier state. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, PopTech 2011, Ecology, Biology, Innovation, Science Fellows,...
Yossi Sheffi explores the various flavors of redundancy, simplicity, flexibility and communications strategies businesses employ to make themselves resilient. "These are the most dangerous things; the things that have severe consequence and low probability...These are the events one worries about when one has to run a large organization." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, Behavioral economics, Business, Governance, Mobile, PopTech Iceland...
Geneticist George Church believes that genome sequencing can bring us closer to personalized medicine. Several years ago, Church launched the Personal Genome Project, a public database that connects genes to diseases as well as physical and biological characteristics. 100,000 volunteers are expected to contribute by 2010. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Medicine, Crowdsourcing, PopTech 2009, Biology, Community
Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, explores how resiliency can empower even the most destitute and vulnerable communities. "When the World Bank was planning to invest $100 million dollars in upgrading the slums in Nairobi, these slum-dweller leaders were represented at the table." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, Business, Community, PopTech iceland 2012, Resilience
MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito gives his unique take on the nature of rebellion and the need to foster a creative, rebel spirit in the leaders of tomorrow. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Creativity, Innovation, Internet, PopTech 2014, Youth
2009 PopTech Fellow Deb Levine founded ISIS - Internet Sexuality Information Services - in 2001 to promote sexual health. Using the web, mobile phones and other media, ISIS gives people private and convenient access to information on critical health issues like HIV prevention and unplanned pregnancies. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Health, Education, Technology, Fellows, PopTech 2009, Social Innovation Fellows...
Didier Sornette is a professor of entrepreneurial risks in Zurich. He explores data patterns to help predict crises and extreme events in complex systems, like global financial crises. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, Big systems, Economics, PopTech Iceland 2012, Resilience
Johnny Hwin and Brodie Jenkins from Cathedrals sit down with John Maeda for a brief discussion about music, creativity and bridging the divide between art and technology. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Art, Creativity, Interview, PopTech 2014, Technology, PopTech 2014 Q&A
Born without a right hand, Adrian Anantawan began the violin at nine and has since established himself as a rising star in classical music. He helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre -- a cross-collaborative project that develops adaptive musical instruments for use by young persons with disabilities within a chamber music setting. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Education, Music, PopTech 2012, Visualizations
The one-man band, Jazari, consists of machines that play a variety of hand percussion instruments, all under the control Patrick Flanagan, who wields a custom-built controller and a Wii remote to create improvised jam sessions. After performing, Flanagan walked the crowd through the technical process of how his system works. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, Music, Robotics, PopTech 2010
Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher walks us through the biology of love. From the importance of one-night stands to the solidity of marriage, Fisher shreds the common wisdom of what love is and isn't in the 21st century. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Biology, Brain, PopTech 2014
Our faces are the very basis of our self-identity, so how do we respond to someone without one? Or to someone with the face of another person entirely? Sharrona Pearl explains the promise and peril inherent in facial transplants. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, PopTech 2014, Psychology, Science
Emily Jacobi describes how her group, Digital Democracy, is using technology to improve local social and environmental projects, like assisting local efforts to document oil spills in Peru. "What are the possibilities of new technology to transform situations for some of the world's most marginalized groups?" Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Activism, PopTech 2013, Social Innovation Fellows 2013
Collaborators Reuben Margolin, a kinetic sculptor and Gideon Obarzanek, a choreographer, met at the 2009 PopTech conference. They instantly bonded over the shared themes in their respective mediums and began creating a piece together called "Connected." Their collaborative effort, a couple of years in the making, is now touring worldwide. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, PopTech 2011, Art, Design, Collaboration, PopTech 2009, Play
Fiery Cushman discusses his experiments designed to understand ethical behavior, such as what prevents humans from harming one another. "Part of our aversion to harm is really just an aversion to the physical action." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, PopTech 2013, psychology, Science Fellows 2013
After an acclaimed career as a documentary photographer, Bangladeshi Shahidul Alam dedicated his life to bringing photography to the people. He started a number of projects and initiatives--including Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography; Chobi Mela, the festival of photography in Asia; and Majority World, a global community interest initiative formed to provide a platform for indigenous photographers. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, PopTech 2011, Culture, Art, Community, Photography, DIY
Kurt Andersen, best-selling author and host of the radio program Studio 360, has turned his unflagging curiosity to the current economic crisis. He believes it is an opportunity to get the nation back on track. Part of the answer, Andersen suggests, lies in reconnecting to the amateur spirit that first helped create America. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech 2009, Economics, Entrepreneur, Politics
Adriane Herman collects and displays found lists from all over the world. Heartbreaking, hilarious, mundane and, at times, shocking, these lists present a portrait of our attempts to contain our unruly humanity. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, PopTech 2011, Culture, Art, Funny
Deborah Kenny wants to scale the effective programs her organization, Harlem Village Academies, has produced. By avoiding previous, well-intentioned, failures and by providing teachers and students with empowering tools, she wants to get what's working for her schools in every US school--and she encourages all of us to get involved. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, PopTech 2010, Education, Youth
Ben Dubin-Thaler, a biologist and founder of Cell Motion Laboratories Inc., drives the BioBus, a repurposed transit bus outfitted with a high-tech science lab that serves as a mobile laboratory to get kids interested in science. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Fellows, Science Fellows 2010, Education, PopTech 2010, Shorts, Quick...
Chris Marianetti, a classically trained musician and composer, got started by bringing his recording studio to a Bronx school. Marianetti ended up recording an album with his students and then invited master musicians to contribute. Today, his organization, Found Sound Nation, creates collaborations all over the world, bringing people together through music. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, PopTech 2011, Community, Collaboration, Social Innovation Fellows 2011,...
Jessika Trancik works to discover and scale new energy technologies while also providing foresight as to where they are going next. She integrates technological details with climate change mitigation targets to make tech problems easier to solve and better for the planet. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, PopTech 2011, Energy, Environment, Science Fellows, Science Fellows...
Helen Marriage shows how to create breathtaking, city-wide art installations in places like downtown London. "These life-changing moments, the joy that you see on the faces of these audiences, that is not a frivolity." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Art, PopTech 2013, Urbanism
MIT aeronautics professor and engineer Dava Newman had a dream: that of a slimmed down astronaut. See the streamlined, mobility-enhancing "Bio-Suit" she created for protecting astronauts from atmospheres and healthcare workers from germs. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, PopTech 2011, Space, Design, Engineering, Shorts, Emerging Tech,...